Raise your hand if you’re NOT a morning person….SAME.
And this time of year, before Daylight Saving Time has saved us an hour of sleep, who the heck wants to get out of bed before 7 AM….It’s STILL DARK. UGH. Dark=Night time=I SHOULD BE SLEEPING.
I have shirts that say, “Does Not Play Well With Others Before Coffee,” and “Coffee, Please.”
I’m the person who would rather pay for an extra night in a hotel if it meant I wouldn’t have to leave on a flight at the butt-crack of dawn. (Yes, Butt-Crack of Dawn is a real thing. Google it. …Ok I made it up, but you KNOW what I’m talking about!!)
I love the quote from Gilmore Girls when Lorelai asks, “What time did you get up?” and Jason says, “5.” And Lorelai says, “There’s one of those in the MORNING Too?!?!?!?!”
You get the point. I’m not a morning person.
But unfortunately, many of my habits are things that I know I will ONLY actually do if I do them in the morning before I get working on an editing project or working on a script for an essential oils class.
If I get consumed in editing a memoir or biography project before I do my journaling, meditation, yoga, writing, etc., I just won’t do all of those other things.
And since I established that doing those things is important to my personal development, I had to make the decision to just freakin’ get up in the morning and do it.
Don’t think, you fellow non-morning people, that I didn’t fight myself on it. I did. A lot.
But eventually I had to decide what was more important: staying in bed an extra hour or actually making positive changes in my life and becoming the person I want to be.
I know what you’re thinking, “Well, when you put it that way…”
I know, babe, I know. Instant guilt trip. I promise I don’t mean it that way, but I get why you feel that way.
And honestly, I did kind of have to guilt myself into doing it at first…but before long, other more positive emotions and thoughts started taking place of that guilt to motivate me out of bed in the morning.
Here’s how I did it:
First off, I set up a morning routine full of habits that I’ve been wanting to implement for a long time. I wrote down habits that I had been talking about doing for as long as I can remember but never actually established.
For me, my morning routine was kind of like what people always tell you about deciding to get a tattoo: if you still want it after a year has gone by, then get it and you won’t regret it.
So the things on my general morning routine list were: Journaling, Visualization, Affirmations, Meditation, Prayer Journaling, Gratitude List, and Bible Reading.
Those were all the things I had been hearing about from other successful people, thinking about doing, and wanting to do more regularly for years. I just never got around to actually establishing those things in my life. I have a tendency to get lost in thought and planning and not actually take any real action. I used to lack follow through.
I also made a list of habits that I knew I needed to start being consistent with if I wanted to grow my business: Blogging, Talking to 5 new people per day about Young Living, Doing product research and Live videos on Facebook, Posting and Engaging daily on Social, Writing. And I wrote down habits I needed to be consistent with in order to improve my health and fitness: Yoga, Drinking 3 L of water per day, Following a Consistent Training Plan for Running.
Once I had my list of habits I knew I truly—to my core—wanted to establish in my life, I started setting my intentions every night before I went to bed. I would write out my schedule for the next day and list out every single one of the things on my list and when I was going to do it.
And as each day went by, I discovered what time of day works for me to do those things and what doesn’t. Like I said, I figured out that I simply WON’T do the things on my list if I don’t get them all done in the morning. I used the trial and error method to find times of day that would work for me—not against me. I needed to make all of this as easy on myself as possible so I wouldn’t give up.
That’s why I called it a “habit formation process.” I decided I wanted to make all of these habits as necessary as eating breakfast and drinking coffee (VITAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF MYSELF AND OTHERS ;) ) in my everyday life, and trial and error was a necessary step in getting there.
I also did things to make some of my habits easier to remember and easier to go into without hesitation.
So for my blogging habit, I made a list of possible topics to write about so that I could just choose one and roll with it every morning.
For my habit of contacting 5 new people about Young Living every day, I wrote down every single person I could think of in my current network on individual notecards with a few notes about our connection or things we’ve talked about in the past. That way, I can just pick 5 cards out of the pile each day and remind myself how to best enter into conversations with those people.
For my habit of drinking 3 L of water every day, I realized I simply forget to drink water most of the time, so I set alarms in my phone to go off every 2-3 hours throughout the day that just say “WATER!!!!” When they go off, I stop and down a full water bottle.
One thing I tried that DIDN’T work very well is setting alarms for each individual activity I was doing, so for blogging I set an alarm at 9:00 and another at 10:00 to start product research. What I discovered is that sometimes my blogging routine takes longer than an hour to complete, and sometimes I have more to write in my journal than what I can write in 20 minutes. And other times my meditation session is only 10 minutes long instead of 20. So the specific timeline doesn’t work for me…
Instead of being rigid with the specific times I’m doing each habit, I instead am focussing on getting out of bed 5 minutes earlier each day. I can do 5 minutes…5 minutes isn’t a big deal. Right? (Yes, I’m trying to fool myself into becoming a morning person!! shhhhh…don’t tell me… ha.)
The earlier I get out of bed, the more time I have to spend on each habit without having to race the clock when I have an event or class or meeting scheduled at a certain time.
But all of this trial and error has allowed me to really enjoy the habits I put in place. I actually look forward to my morning routine and to my daily business and fitness habits because they naturally flow in my day instead of being just another thing to check off the list.
And the more times I successfully complete all of my habits, and the more consistent I am, the more I trust myself and am proud of myself and the more I WANT to keep going.
I find myself getting excited for my morning routine every day and guarding that time for myself. I even tell my dog, “Momma isn’t done with her morning routine yet, bud. Give me a few more minutes before we go on our walk.” (Yeah, I’m that annoying person who talks in 3rd person to her dog…whatever, you do it to your 2 year old. Don’t judge me. ;) )
So even though I still don’t consider myself a true morning person, I am using my morning time to develop into the person I’ve always wanted to be through habits I’ve long wanted to implement.
What tactics do you use to get out of bed earlier in the morning?? (I’m legit asking for tips here…help an anit-morning lady out ;) )